Egypt's population growth exceeds estimates

Egypt's population has now reached 86 million, according to official figures, with most people concentrated in major cities such as Cairo. [Waleed Abu al-Khair/Al-Shorfa]

Egypt's population has now reached 86 million, according to official figures, with most people concentrated in major cities such as Cairo. [Waleed Abu al-Khair/Al-Shorfa]



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Egypt's population has grown by one million since last August, and officials are warning this could have a serious impact on the country's social, economic and educational institutions.

The population currently stands at 86 million, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics.

"The agency issued the announcement through the population clock on Salah Salem Street in Cairo," said Misbah Khaireddine of the agency's chamber of studies. "The clock is linked electronically and updated with the latest data and statistics from the census."

In 2013, the population grew by 2.5%, he said.

"We estimated a population growth of 875,000 last year, but the actual figure significantly exceeded our expectations," he said.

This increase matches other reports that warn Egypt's population growth is a social time bomb, Khaireddine said.

On February 16th, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported that Egypt's population is likely to reach more than 137 million by 2050, while a study by the German Chamber of Commerce estimated the country's population will reach 120 million in 20 years.

"The increase in population has become a reality and we must work now across two axes," said Rami Abdulmuttalib, who lectures at Cairo University's Faculty of Social Sciences. "First, we must continue to limit the growth rate, and second, we must find solutions to the problems it causes."

These could include urban expansion to other regions of Egypt to reduce overcrowding in cities through the establishment of a system of cities, villages and new urban developments, he said.

Awareness-raising campaigns that address the social and economic risks associated with population growth could help reduce the birth rate, he said.

"In rural areas, especially agricultural ones, a high birth rate is caused by a desire to increase agricultural production by involving the entire family on the land," Abdulmuttalib said.

But a large population increase in Egypt would deplete government resources and impact the country's educational levels, he said.

Managing population growth

Several government entities are working together to address the population growth, said Amjad Yasin of the Egyptian Ministry of Housing's Department of Urban Planning.

These include the Ministry of Housing and the General Authority for Urban Planning, which are planning to address population growth by exploiting Egypt's vast untapped desert areas, he said.

These plans focus on the Nile Delta and the Nile valley desert areas and aim to accommodate at least five million people by 2017, Yasin said.

They include the construction of 400 residential compounds in new towns, with each town accommodating more than 10,000 people, he added.

"The new plans take into account attention to agricultural spaces and their development and preservation, especially since these areas are suitable for farming, industrial, commercial and tourist purposes, which would not only contribute to resettling the population, but also would create job opportunities for the unemployed and the youth, in addition to reducing migration to cities and the growth of slums," he said.

According to official figures, Egypt's population lives on 7.7% of its total land area and is concentrated in major cities.

Cairo has the highest population density, 47,285 people per square kilometre, while South Sinai has the lowest with 9.7 people per square kilometre.



    الهام مطر


    May God protect Egypt, its people and its army. We ask god to keep Egypt away from all evil and bad things. One can see from the picture how poor the buildings are and how bad is their situation. These are primitive buildings and it seems that there is no one who plans or thinks about developing the building procedure of houses in villages and leave them to be built randomly. Using precast concrete buildings would save Egypt a lot and studies done on this method have been available since the year 1970 and there are precast concrete factories in Egypt. Thus, I hope that this idea will be spread in order to provide cheap, healthy houses with an architectural design suiting the environment, saving electricity and making use of solar energy. I’m optimistic because the darkness of the night will end and blueberry seeds will fill the ground with many spikes.

  • هيثم يسري


    The population of Japan is 127 million, the one in China is 1.35 billion, and the one in Indonesia is 246 million; however, the difference is in the planning, development, and contribution by every newborn to the national, scientific, and urban production. In Egypt, the army possesses 50% of the wealth while the Egyptians live on less than 25% of the national income; therefore, in the view of the army, every newborn is a demonstrator that should be killed, a politician that should be detained, or a beggar that should be abused.

  • عبد الرزاق فاضل


    These are the worst days in the history of Egypt, for it is suffering from political fascism, the media of black propaganda, abject poverty, widespread illiteracy, military coups, familial state institutions, and weak and politicized judiciary. Egypt has lost everything except its youth that can perhaps extricate it from the deep darkness of the night.

  • عبد القادر طالب


    Growth will continue as long as there’s no awareness of the difficult conditions the Egyptians live in. The population grows more and more and nobody uses it for development and growth as is the case in China. Everybody in Egypt waits for one government after another to solve the Egyptians’ problems in all areas but unfortunately all past, current, and also future Egyptian governments only come to serve the regime and themselves, and not to serve the dear people of Egypt. How can the Egyptians ever be able to feel well if the officials’ thinking for Egypt is overpowered by greed and taking advantage of opportunities?

  • عبود شريف


    The Egyptians don’t believe in limiting the number of children. Even somebody who God hasn’t destined for pregnancy and childbirth goes to doctors within the second or third month of being married, so what do we expect? The number of residents is bound to grow, the number of children in Egypt will grow, and problems will double because there are generations upon generations being born in Egypt for the same services and infrastructure and there aren’t enough resources to match the increasing shortage in energy and water and unemployment. These are great problems facing Egyptians and they will increase in the coming stages because nobody plans well for Egypt and for the Egyptians. Perhaps Egypt’s next president will be able to solve these very difficult logarithms.

  • حسام ألهامي


    Overpopulation is the permanent, incurable problem in Egypt, as are lack of education and ignorance, especially among Egyptian women, who are very numerous. The latest statistics confirmed that among each 1000 women, there is only one educated one, which means that the rest of them adopt the same backward, ancient thoughts, customs and habits. Certainly, today is not like yesterday; today we should have absolute awareness to fight that phenomenon, which is increasing immensely and cannot be eliminated, because ignorance regrettably predominates among the Egyptians. This proves that we will be underdeveloped in Egypt to a great extent, as long as most Egyptian women are convinced that numerous procreation is a sort of support for them, despite the poor conditions they are suffering.

  • ميريهان مجدى


    The population in Egypt is growing constantly and it will not stop unless Egypt witnesses major disasters which are caused by the big increment in Egypt.Look at the masses of people in Cairo and the rate of pollution where these masses exist; the problems in Egypt happen because of this growing rate of population.We are about to reach 95 million persons; this rate is very big and regrettably,every year we increase by about one million persons.This is a horrible increase and there must be awareness of this big danger, and we should pay attention to the coming danger!

  • عبد الله العمروسى


    The increase in population in Egypt is resulted from the problems which have been accumulated from the previous periods and it refers to the Egyptian rooted traditions. People should forget these traditions. They are destructive for human beings. We are on the threshold of the 21st century and the attitude of the Egyptian women should not be like this. We shouldn’t reach a point that the numbers of the pregnancies and deliveries increase in this way without taking advantage of different contraceptives. There are also some men, who have more than one wife, and their wives involve themselves in a competition. As a result of this, a man may have more than 20 sons and daughters which is in turn, a real disaster. We should look into this problem from another viewpoint. Ignorance and illiteracy have made us like this. O, Egyptian Gentlemen, please pay attention that knowledge is illumination.

  • امال الابراهيمى


    It is very possible to solve Egypt’s economic problems, given certain conditions, the most important of which is for everyone to have goodwill. Everybody must cooperate to work and to produce - corruption and robbery must be stopped. Nobody can be excepted or excluded; the corruptors should not be protected. The spread of theft among the ruling elite and the spongers, who live on the grants of the corrupt government in return for playing definite roles to serve and support corruption and to exclude the loyal people who work for the sake of the homeland, as is happening these days, will make it even worse.

  • مصطفى هيكل


    The truth is that the Egyptian economy will contract by at least 10% in 2014. First of all, those who staged the coup are thieves and they will loot and pocket all the aid that came from the Gulf. Secondly, tourists and investors are afraid of the turmoil and it is next to impossible for any one of them to think about investing in a country undergoing chaos and daily demonstrations.

  • عبد الغفار فضل


    Hope Egypt makes it to the Guinness world records as the nation with the highest population density and that it will surpass both China and India. Hope that Egypt becomes developed, manufactures rockets and nuclear bombs, conquers space, builds pyramids on the surface of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, liberates Palestine and becomes the strongest nation economically and militarily in the world.